U.S. Must Agree With Poland, Not Germany,
At The 2016 NATO Warsaw Summit
Increasing sentiment among Poland’s “partners” in the European Union (EU) in favor of imposing sanctions to punish our kin country, Poland, for the new Polish Government’s alleged violations of democratic procedures, undermines NATO solidarity at a time of resurgent Russian aggression in Donbas. The present escalation of armed conflict, in fact, war, the accurate word to describe what is happening in Ukraine today, that many, especially in Germany, prefer to avoid, poses an immediate and direct threat to Europe and to the United States. That is why many draw the most apt analogy of the present moment in Europe with the failure of the western democracies to stop Hitler in the Spring 1939. Today, it is clear that Putin, like Hitler, prefers to change internationally recognized borders by armed force and only shows contempt for international law and order. This is a time for solidarity, not divisiveness. That is why the Polish American Congress must take decisive action now to protest the bullying of Poland by Germany and many EU countries.
Most of the EU countries calling for sanctions against Poland also are members of NATO. The major exception is Sweden. This country is NOT among the EU countries advocating punishment for Poland, because Sweden correctly sees Poland as vital to security in the northern tier of East Central Europe. Unlike Germany, Sweden has her priorities in order. Moreover, readers recall that Poland in tandem with Sweden launched the Eastern Partnership Initiative (EaP) just BEFORE (March 2008) the Russian invasion of Georgia (August 2008), because both countries anticipated and began to prepare to counter resurgent Russian imperialism. Germany opposed the EaP. Had the EaP gone forward with German support, we would NOT have resurgent Russian imperialism. Sweden is a true friend of Poland which feels threatened by Putin’s Kremlin and is seriously considering acceding to NATO. Sweden is remaining aloof from the clamor in many EU countries, especially marked in Germany, to punish Poland.
This is why the bullying of Poland by many of her EU “partners”, in the context of resurgent Russian imperialism marked by war in Donbas, is above all a NATO security issue. The United States is the key country in NATO and President Spula promptly should write to Secretary of State John Kerry and ask him to let our NATO allies know that this is NOT the historical moment to sow division in NATO by calling for sanctions against Poland.
Only Putin’s Kremlin and their friends in Germany will profit from the persecution of Poland which has regained her sovereignty after the 2015 Presidential and Sejm elections. Today, we have a Polish Government for the Polish people. Moscow, and many in Berlin, do NOT like, and seek to punish, a patriotic government in Warsaw. The PAC’s President should fully support the new Polish Government by reminding Secretary of State Kerry that: a strong and sovereign Poland promotes American democratic values and safeguards United States security interests in East Central Europe. The PAC should assert this truism as we approach the Summer 2016 NATO Warsaw Summit, and the PAC Executive Committee should take action to implement the “Chris Zawitkowski Resolution” voted-up at the October 2014 PAC Council of National Directors Meeting.
Germany wants to avoid stationing substantial NATO assets in Poland; the PAC needs to persuade American public opinion and United States policy makers that major NATO assets should permanently be stationed on Polish territory to deter Russian aggression. This may require lobbying for the repeal of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, which was instrumentalized by Germany to stop NATO from deploying troops in Poland, which the Polish delegation requested, at the 2014 NATO Summit in Newport, Wales, United Kingdom. We can not allow this to happen again at the 2016 NATO Warsaw Summit this summer.
That is why the message of Polish Americans to officials running for national offices in 2016 is: the United States needs to support Poland’s request and agree permanently to station substantial NATO armed forces assets on Polish territory to deter Russian aggression.
By John Czop